Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) / Septic Systems


Charles Reed, Land Disposal and Groundwater
Permitting Unit Supervisor
(707) 576-2752, Charles.Reed@waterboards.ca.gov

Onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) commonly known as septic systems that primarily treat domestic wastewater and employ subsurface disposal. On June 19, 2012, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted Resolution No. 2012-0032, adopting the Water Quality Control Policy for Siting, Design, Operation, and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Policy).  This Policy uses a risk-based, tiered approach for the regulation and management of OWTS installations and replacements and sets the level of performance and protection expected from OWTS. Most notably the Policy establishes a framework that promotes Local Agency Management Plans (LAMPs) developed for local governments to implement. The revision of Chapter 4 of the Basin Plan to incorporate the statewide OWTS Policy, with modification, has been approved by Office of Administrative Law and is now in effect.

OWTS Policy

Local Agencies

County Status Approval Date Approval Resolution Final LAMP
Del Norte Draft      
Humboldt Approved 2/8/2018 Resolution R1-2018-0005 Humboldt County LAMP and Technical Standards Manual
Mendocino Approved 11/4/2018 Resolution R1-2018-0052 Mendocino County LAMP and Technical Standards Manual
Siskiyou Draft      
Sonoma Draft      

  (Page last updated 4/16/19)